Beep Baseball a Hit in Cooperstown
Fresh off their fifth-place finish in the NBBA World Series, the Renegades participated in a program in the Hall of Fame Library’s Bullpen Theater, where they explained how Beep Baseball works and showed a clip from the award-winning documentary, The Renegades: A Beep Ball Story.
When I play Beep Baseball, I feel like I’m leaving my cane on the bench.
As Bryan Grillo, a volunteer coach with the Renegades, explained to the Hall of Fame audience, pitchers also use verbal cues as a way of guiding the hitter. “Pitchers use a verbal cadence so as to help the hitter make contact,” said Grillo. “This is essential for the batter. Just relying on the sound from the ball isn’t enough.” As part of that cadence, the pitcher says “ready” just prior to releasing the ball and then says “pitch” at the moment the ball is released.
Beep Baseball has gained a popular following in recent years. As Renegades player Guy Zucarello pointed out on Sunday, the team was once invited to Boston’s Fenway Park to participate in a pre-game ceremony. The 2006 appearance brought national attention to the Renegades, not to mention the entire NBBA.
For the players involved, the attention is nice, but not really the number one priority. The players simply want the opportunity to play the game that they love. “When I play Beep Baseball,” Zucarello said, “I feel like I’m leaving my cane on the bench.”
That goal might have once seemed unachievable, but Beep Baseball makes it all possible. As Brandon Chesser of the Blackhawks told the Hall of Fame audience on Sunday: “This sport is awesome.”
Bruce Markusen is the manager of digital and outreach learning at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum